Press/Journalists

Press Release
June 24, 2013

Information Security Oversight Office Releases 33rd Annual Report to the President

ISOO’s declassification guidance results in changes for the better

Washington, DC… The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) today released its Report to the President for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, online [www.archives.gov/isoo/reports] For the first time, this report includes information on and cost estimates for security classification government-wide. Overall, classification is down and declassification efforts continue at a rapid pace.

The 2012 report highlights several positive developments:

  • Agencies reduced original classification activity by 42 percent.
  • The number of officials with original classification authority is at its lowest recorded level, down to 2,326 from a high of 7,149 in 1980.
  • ISOO conducted on-site reviews of 16 agency declassification programs. Of these, all agencies passed, and all but one received a score of 90 percent or above.
  • Total estimated cost for the security of classified information dropped $1.59 billion (14 percent).
  • Executive Branch agencies conducted their first government-wide Fundamental Classification Guidance Review. More than 3,100 classification guides were re-evaluated and updated and nearly a third were either cancelled or consolidated.
  • The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel staff created a public online database of electronic versions of documents it declassified.

Other report highlights include:

Classification

  • Agencies reported 73,477 original classification decisions.
  • Executive branch agencies reported 95,180,243 derivative classification decisions.

Declassification

  • Under automatic, systematic, and discretionary declassification review, agencies reviewed 44,921,864 pages and declassified 19,850,541 pages of historically valuable records.
  • Agencies reviewed 372,354 pages of classified material under the mandatory declassification review program, and declassified 217,456 pages in their entirety, declassified 86,587 pages in part, and retained classification of 68,311 pages in their entirety.

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), established in 1978, is responsible to the President for overseeing the Government-wide security classification program, and receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council. ISOO has been part of the National Archives and Records Administration since 1995. ISOO consists of three parts:

  • The Classification Management Staff develops security classification policies for classifying, declassifying and safeguarding national security information generated in Government and industry.
  • The Industry and Operations Staff evaluates the effectiveness of the security classification programs established by Government and industry to protect information vital to our national security interests.
  • The Controlled Unclassified Information Staff develops standardized Controlled Unclassified Information policies and procedures to protect sensitive information through effective data access and control measures.

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at www.archives.gov.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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